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1778 though 1783 First Edition Full Leather Set of Annual Registers

The Heart of the American Revolution

This is a nice full leather set of Annual Registers, all first editions, that cover the Revolutionary War from 1778 through its end with the peace treaty recognizing the United States in 1783. While there is much more than just the Revolutionary War in these volumes; literature, science and exploration are fully covered as well, the reason they are on this web site and more valuable than most short runs of the Register is the coverage of the momentous event that made the United States an independent nation. Rather than try to describe the entire contents, some of which is addressed in the descriptions of individual years, the narrative and pictures below focus on the starting and ending volumes of this run. In the middle, unaddressed here, is one of our favorite volumes, 1781, which you can learn about here.

The 1778 volume contains the reports of the Revolutionary War starting in July 1777 (p. 36), so the volume contains a narrative of the events leading up to the critical battle of Saratoga and reports on the important consequences, including the American negotiation of a treaty of alliance with France that would be so instrumental in the final favorable outcome of the War. The volume focuses on the debate in Parliament over the conduct and consequences of the war, but also includes the accounts of the military action, as shown by the summary of chapter X below:

The 1778 volume also contains considerable full text documents and transcripts of the American Continental Congress and the full text of the Treaty of Alliance with the King of France, the start of which is shown below:

The 1783 volume contains a number of important full text document in the Chronicle appendix including George Washington's famous Newburgh address to stem a revolt of officers in the final days of the war and Washington's farewell orders . The start of those historic documents are shown below:

The most important document in the volume is the treaty with Great Britain formally recognizing American independence that is included in the State Papers section with other peace treaty documents. As shown below, the treaty specifically mentions John Adams and Benjamin Franklin who were America's negotiators.

Below are the nice and clean title pages of the 1778 and 1783 volumes and further down are more pictures of the condition of the volumes.


The start and ending volumes are shown in close-up above, as well as the bookplate of Captain Pat Hunter in the last volume. There are no library or other writings in the books except on the first volume's second free end paper is the name "J. Dandridge Sr." in small script. The text block and top of the volumes are shown below.

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